Posted tagged ‘virality’

Ugly Viral vs. Pretty Viral

April 16, 2010

Recently I encountered yet another app on Facebook that required me to “become a fan” and install the app before I could even see what it was, much less whether I liked it enough to become a real fan.

Sorry, no.

That’s not viral except in the meanest, ugliest sense.  Like Ebola.  I saw a friend of mine — a trusted source of information — who ostensibly was a fan of this app.  So I clicked on it.  But when I saw the app’s reputation-extortion scheme, I surfed away, and wondered a bit about my friend.

This is only the most recent smarmy way that app developers have tried to extract virality from their users.  There are good ways and not so good ways to do this.  Why do developers persist in using techniques that fall into the doing “every horrible thing” category?  Isn’t there a better way to go about acquiring customers by social means?

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Better Revenue Forecasting for Social Games

March 29, 2010

One of the great things about social games is that there continues to be a wealth of information available that makes their business case much less uncertain than for other kinds of games.

As one example, Lisa Marino, Chief Revenue Officer at RockYou, gave a presentation at GDC on Monetizing Social Games that’s well worth reviewing.  Lots of good stuff in her slides, and in particular she provides some fascinating data on daily revenue per DAU.  This is a much more precise set of numbers than monthly revenue per MAU.  Measuring per DAU allows for better accounting of the initial fast rise of most successful social games (when DAU can be a very high percentage of MAU), ongoing engagement (how often your players return), churn, long-term drop-off, etc.   (more…)

One More: Integrating Design, Virality, and Monetization

March 25, 2010

In a gracious reference to one of my posts, Aki Jarvinen makes a great point about viral design: it can’t be tacked on at the end of creating the gameplay.  Like monetization (my point earlier), virality has to be integrated in, or else what you end up with is a Frankenstein’s monster kind of game, where the discrete parts do not play well together. (more…)